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The Art of Deco

20 Jan

To me, Art Deco is like a fantastic wine; it is the perfect blend of fashion with architecture and design and encompasses all of my visual art passions.

According to Wikipedia, Led by the best designers in the decorative arts such as fashion, and interior design, Art Deco affected all areas of design throughout the 1920s and 1930s, including architecture and industrial design, as well as the visual arts such as painting, the graphic arts and film. At the time, this style was seen as elegant, glamorous, functional and modern.It  could also be described as a movement of sorts. A rebelling from designing with political or philosophical roots. It was simply about design. Nothing more, nothing less.

It was the soul of the 1920’s and 30’s and  served as the foundation for design movements that emerged throughout the past 80 years. The “art deco aesthetic” is primarily found in fashion, architecture, art and typography but its influences can still be found in modern design.

Luella says…That building matches my dress.


What era of design do you love?

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Through the Lens. Sølve Sundsbø

13 Jan

I love Scandinavia. As you know, my family comes from Sweden and I worked for a Danish company for 8 years and so I have been immersed to say the least.

Now for a little bit of Norway.  Sølve Sundsbø was born in 1970 and garnered an interest in photography in his early twenties by enrolling in the London College of Printing. Once there he answered an ad for Nick Knight who was looking for an assistant and alas his career began.

According to Ykone online, “He concentrates on volume, lines and graphics and alters his images with superimpositions, use of filters and transparency, creating truly remarkable pictures.”

“If I’ve got a style,” says Sundsbo, “it’s that I’ve got no style.”

I personally love the visual spectrum he lives in. While many photographers work in a streamlined aesthetic he embraces the varied sources of light, textures and manipulations. He vividly captures light and emotion.

Luella says…And the Series Continues.

(all photos SOURCED at artandcommerce.com)

To be able to see the world through the scope of a photographic lens must be very powerful. What you see is not always what you got. The artistry is making people believe there is not a difference.

Joyeux Nell.

24 Dec

You never know where life is going to take you and whom you are going to meet along the way.I stumbled upon a contest held by Sunglass Hut called Full Time Fabulous about a month ago. It is their quest to find a blogger for 2011 who will live in a furnished loft in Manhattan, get paid $100,000 and “be the eyes and ears of the Sunglass Hut Institution” to loosely steal a line from The Breakfast Club.For the entire month of December, the Top Ten Finalists have been dueling it out in a blog-off that will end December 31st. Wits, words and creativity are on full display and it has been interesting to be an observer.

So on to the rest of the story.

Luella says…Salt in the City.

Meet Nell Alk, one of the finalists from…wait for it…. GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN!

I was so happy to see someone from my beloved state of Wisconsin make the cut, that I reached out to her in support and have been following her Full Time Fabulous blog posts for the past month.

She has lived in New York for the past 4 years or so and is already a contributing editor and blogger for  NBCNEWYORK.com, PAPERMAG.com, OKMAGAZINE.com, FABRICMAG.com and OURSTAGE.com.

I find her writing to be fresh, clever and full of rich details. I don’t have to be at the events Nell describes and reports on because she creates the full picture through her story telling.

When describing the importance of New York City as the Fashion Capital of the World, Nell says,

“Manhattan speaks to the global community on behalf of fashion with the authority and authenticity of its people. It’s a recognizable and relatable tongue, a dialect everyone knows, from Monaco to Madrid, Minnesota to Malibu. New York City is the epicenter of fashion. A sanctuary of culture, New York is a haven for the “who knows,” the “what ifs” and the “this is its.” Its influence is as much about its exclusivity and elegance as it is about its ability to embrace the everyman. Or, in this instance, the everydesigner. The power this city and its spirited people wield is unmatched. They influence fellow New Yorkers; they influence fellow Americans; they influence the rest of the world. Manhattan has an unstoppable influence around the world because it represents and embodies the people of the whole wide world. The human condition defined and redefined. In an inspiring city that is both timeless and timely. Not to mention, all-accepting. The big apple can be yours. And yours. And yours.”

See what I mean?

She comes from my home state, so I will say with pride, “salt of the earth country,” has an affinity for fashion and lives and breathes the pulse of New York City.Sunglass Hut, what more do you really need?

In the spirit of the Christmas season, please check our her blog and share her story. The more support she garners the better her chances of winning the coveted position will be.

In layman’s terms, Re-tweet, Like, Comment and Share. Wisconsin-ites mount up.

http://nell.fulltimefabulous.com/

Closet Construction.

15 Dec

Making a list for Christmas is really no different from what I go through every season when Fashion Week rears its gorgeous head.

I delightfully go to Style.com and watch the slide show images of each designer I covet and make mental and yes literal notes of what I would choose and fill my closet with.

A girl can dream right?On a side note, for this Holiday season if your budget is tight, find things you would love to buy for your loved ones and wrap them as promises for when times are not as tough. The thoughtfulness is the same whether it is physically there or not and it gives you a goal and the receiver something to look forward to.

Christmas in (fill in the month) perhaps?

Back to the point, I am compiling a style collage for my work with Kimberly Ovitz, an amazing designer that if you don’t know you need to and thus began my “LOVE list” for the Ready-to-Wear Spring 2011 collections.

If money were no object, I would construct a closet and fill it with these styles and then add to it for each new season from now till forever.

(Like KOD on Facebook)

So while I sit here staring out the window at a very dreary and cold day, my thoughts go to Springtime when the world warms up and our closets turn over and welcome back some color.

This is a list of my favorite styles coming hopefully to a boutique near you for Spring 2011. (February/March delivery.) Remember these choices are not necessarily my favorite designers but merely my Musts & Loves.

Luella says…Runway to Reality?

(all photos SOURCED from: www.style.com)

Designer: Vionnet

Designer: Miu Miu

Designer: Chloe

Designer: Rag & Bone

Designer: Ports 1961

Designer: Marchesa

Designer: YSL

Designer: Lanvin

Designer: Jill Stuart

Designer: Alberta Ferretti

Designer: Willow

Designer: Kimberly Ovitz

Designer: Preen

Designer: Diane Von Furstenberg

Designer: Alexander Wang

Designer: Donna Karan

Designer: Collette Dinnigan

Designer: Phillip Lim

Which style is your favorite? What personal projects do you love to do during the year?

I actually would love to know what you think , so VOTE in the comments section below.

Glitter, Sparkle & Shine.

14 Dec

‘Tis the season to break out your sequins and sparkles.

I love Christmastime for a lot of reasons but one is most definitely the ability to wear whatever you feel in the name of the season. Holiday parties are in full swing and rules that normally apply to the rest of the year; come December, don’t.

The Holidays bring about a chance for everyone to express themselves and I say the bolder, sparklier and brighter the better!

There are some basic rules to follow though when going for as I like to call it, “Sparkle Chic.”

1. Go for rich earth tones. (Navy, Emerald, Gold, Brown, Black, Gray & Cream)

2. Choose to wear it as an accent piece and make sure to pair it with something matte.

3. Don’t wear more than one item per outfit. (SEQUIN & SPARKLE OVERLOAD) Keep it subtle.

4. There is a huge disparity between hand sewn and machine sewn sequins. The latter is much more affordable but if you can, go for the hand sewn, the quality is better and the look is much richer.

5. Make sure to launder it appropriately and wear it with care. Sequins are expensive and difficult to repair.

So now that you know the rules(-ish), I ask you to go to the back of your closet and pull out the items you think are over the top. Try them on, take a strut around your bedroom and rethink your notion that you wouldn’t dare.

Fashion risks are always explainable and who doesn’t want to glisten anyway?

Luella says…Go Glitter.



What do you love to pull out of your closet and wear during the Holiday party season?

Take a photo as you are on your way out the door and let me see your style!!

A Winter Weather Staple.

6 Dec

It is 15 degrees back home today. I am lucky I only have to write about it and not actually try to maintain my life while living in it. With that said, there are ways in which to keep yourself warm and maintain your style integrity. One of the best solutions and a main staple of my Winter wardrobe is the scarf.

I used to work for Kate Kanyon Cashmere and was gifted a bunch of wraps and scarves. Ever since, I have literally lived, traveled and snuggled with one almost year round.

The scarf is  a double purpose pleasure in that it keeps you warm and adds the perfect finishing touch to your outfit no matter the season. When choosing a color, go for primary pop. Peacock blue, Emerald Green, Hermes Orange, Optic White, Black, Marigold & Grey.

Cashmere is my favorite but cotton and wool blends will do the trick as well. The larger the better. Realize when you travel if you have a large scarf (28 inches  by 86 inches or so) you can use it as a personal blanket as well. I do and it has served as the perfect travel companion.

Luella says…Wrap up for the Winter.

Fashion is truly a visual signature. Spice it up this Winter with a scarf.

 

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You Will Always Have Paris.

1 Dec

In February of 2005, I went to Paris to work Fashion Week at the WHO’S NEXT show. I had studied French from 7th grade through college so I was beyond ecstatic to be able to travel to the City of Light.

Most of my time was spent at Le Porte de Versailles where the shows were being held but I did venture out to see La Tour Eiffel, Brasserie Lipp, Café de Flore, Sacré-Coeur, La Seine & Notre Dame to name a few. To be honest, my favorite part was a two hour stroll looking for a specific restaurant I could never find. Paris was the most peaceful city I have ever visited. So still and quiet yet so rich in culture.

I can still remember thinking how lucky I was to be a relatively small town girl, working for a Danish fashion designer flying on business from Copenhagen to Paris. Good times, great memories.

Paris was perfect, or parfait as they say en Français.

I woke up each morning, grabbed le petit déjeuner on my way to the Métro, worked the show and then finished the evening eating oysters from Provence and drinking delicious wine I will never remember the name of.

In retrospect,  I would have loved to JUST be a tourist but I got the opportunity to live the culture  instead of just visit it. For that, I will be eternally grateful.

Below are some amazing vintage Parisian finds from Etsy meant to remind you of one of the most amazing cities in the world.


Luella says…Paris, Je t’aime.

Gorgeous linen backed Art Deco ORIGINAL 1921 ad for the Au Printemps store in Paris

Fabulous Antique Ornate French Pier Mirror Gesso Carvings

Vintage Handmade Heirloom clay tea set

Antique DAHER TIN PLATE

Romantic Country French Antique Sofa With Carvings 1900’s France

Vintage French Continental Princess rotary phone

Large French Silver Metal Swag Brooch Signed

Muslin Ribbon – French Flourish

Antique Silver Tray Oval French Chic

Antique French Carved Bergere Chair

Hand Picked French Lavender (lavande)

Vintage French Carved Hand Painted Chest With Marble Top Paris Chic

Paris Opera Glasses

Crystal Light Bulb Cover

If you haven’t been to Paris, save up your pennies and go.

It truly is a season-less city. Paris in the Summer or Paris in the Winter doesn’t detract from all its splendor.

Go Green.

20 Nov

“The Emerald surpasses in its greenness all green stones, and even the leaves of plants, and it imparts to the air around it a green shimmer.”

Isidorus, Bishop of Seville 640 A.D.

I love the color Emerald. It is the color of the Earth. Of trees and grass and leaves and nature.

In fashion, I love the subtlety of Emerald when paired with primary colors and the way it brings a warmness to my skin tone.

It is timeless so I suggest next time you are shopping,  if you come across a piece in this shade of green, buy it and make  it a permanent fixture in your wardrobe.

Blonde, Brunette or Red hair doesn’t matter because it works for all of us.

It also is a perfect pop color for home decor. A subtle accent on the wall or a simple throw on a bed can make a room have depth. Try it for yourself.

If I had to choose three words to best describe Emerald-Green, they would be warm, rich and decadent.

Luella says…An Ode to Emerald.

 



 

After thinking about it,  I realized it also reminds me of Christmas and the onset of the Holidays with Mistletoe and Evergreens.

What does it evoke for you?

What color do you love?

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Sofia, Charlotte, Vogue & 1974.

17 Nov

Similar to my Marilyn photo, I have had this Sofia Coppola for VOGUE article on Charlotte Rampling being “The Sexiest Woman in the World 1974″ on my vision board since October of 2003. I love Sofia’s description of her journey and relate to her visual obsession of photographs.

(Read abridged article below)

I Wanna Be Like You by Sofia Coppola from Vogue, Oct 2003

Sofia Coppola grew up pasting pictures of the sultry heroines of seventies magazines to her bedroom wall in California.

Helmut Newton’s portrait of Charlotte Rampling from the seventies is one of my favorite photographs of all time. When I was a kid growing up in the country, magazines were so important to me. I would get The Face and Vogue and French Vogue – they were my link to the rest of the world. And although my parents took us all over when they traveled, high school in Napa was far away from the sophistication and glamour I saw in the pages of those magazines.

Like most teenage girls, I covered my walls with the pictures I tore out of them. I think when you’re younger you look at women and pictures of women to define who you want to grow up to be, and they make a deep impression on you. I always loved images of Tina Chow, Paloma Picasso, and Anjelica Huston. I remember I met Anjelica when I was fourteen. She told me I would grow into my nose, which I appreciated.

The image of Charlotte Rampling sitting naked on a table seemed to me the ultimate portrait of a woman. I like photos that have a story to them. This picture could almost be a still from a film: it makes me think about what just happened and what will happen next. There’s something going on between her and the photographer, the way he’s looking at her and she’s looking back at him. She’s so striking and cool, and you can tell she’s smart. Who doesn’t want to be that?

The seventies seemed like such a glamorous time. It was before sportswear became normal; women didn’t wear sneakers. There was a romance and a decadence to the way those women looked that I found very appealing. I remember being impressed by the French actress Aurore Clément, who was married to my dad’s production designer Dean Tavoularis and was a friend of the family’s. I think she even posed for Helmut Newton when she was younger, and she epitomized a certain kind of sophisticated French beauty. She would wear Yves Saint Laurent – not the super-sexy slash-necked looks but silk pleated skirts with a little blouse and round, flat shoes. She was very chic.

I began collecting fashion photography, encouraged by my mother. She gave me a William Klein photo of a woman smoking with roses on her hat, and another of a model on a Paris street. I still collect photos and art, and I love it. Some of my favorite pieces are by Philip-Lorca diCorsia, Richard Prince, Takashi Homma, Larry Sultan, Elizabeth Peyton. Just the other day I bought a Bob Richardson piece I love of a model on a beach with a tear in her eye. I tried to buy the Rampling photo a few years ago, but it was so expensive!

When I’m working on a film project, I put together books of visual references in a certain mood, even if I have no idea how they’ll relate to the final product. I still love looking at magazines and tearing pages out, and I still have the Charlotte Rampling picture on my wall.

The photo and article inspired me to go back in time and seek out some of the beauty, film and fashion icons of the decades before I was born.

Luella says…I Wanna Be Like Them.

Charlotte Rampling

Catherine Deneuve

Grace Jones

Twiggy

Jane Birkin

Sofia Loren

Mia Farrow

Brigitte Bardot

Edie Sedgwick

Lauren Hutton

What inspires you? What do you tear out of magazines or bookmark in your google reader?

Figure it out and stock up.

PS. Don’t forget to check out Sofia Coppola’s new movie SOMEWHERE coming out December 22nd. It won the top prize at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.


In the Trenches.

16 Nov

When it comes to my personal style, I spend a lot of time trying to accomplish the anti-trend. So much of fashion is in now – out tomorrow. I would much rather fill my closet with timeless classics.


One such piece to invest in, is the camel trench coat. It is fashionable in its sophistication yet functional in cold weather.

Sounds like a perfect combination to me.

The Trench has sustained itself through many decades of fashion. It is androgynous at its core making it allowable for both Men and Women to wear.

Q: What do Bob Dylan, Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer, Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw in Love Story have in common?

A: The trench coat

According to Wikipedia,”Invention of the trench coat is claimed by both Burberry and Aquascutum. Aquascutum’s claim dates back to the 1850s, while Thomas Burberry, the inventor of gabardine fabric, submitted a design for an army officer’s raincoat to the United Kingdom War Office in 1901.”

It ultimately doesn’t matter who created the trench coat design because I know this trendy, anti-trend, anomaly will continue to remain relevant each Winter season.

Luella says…Classic Camel, Timeless Trench

(A couple of styles below are NOT true trench coats. I included them anyway.)

Brave the Winter weather in style. As Man of Class said, “It is almost always necessary to sport a trench coat.”

Now go get yours.

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